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Storyteller Katie Knutson Demonstrates the Impact of Art on Social Change

Katie Knutson, professional Storyteller and Teaching Artist and founder of Rippling Stories, was a guest speaker on September 20 in Marcia Avner's class, The Impact of Art on Social Change. In this course, students analyze how art works to influence public perception, political will and social policy.

Friday night’s class was focused on how to connect personal stories to real life, and how to recognize the fine line that they go between. Katie said, “there’s the difference between feeling something and worrying about the other person”; you cannot make them feel too uncomfortable, and if you do, you need to bring them back out of that at the end. During class, Katie told the darker version of the story of Sleeping Beauty, while also weaving it in with current events and personal experience. It was a wonderful performance that showed how personal stories are powerful when they are used in the right way.  

Katie Knutson has a degree in Theater and Drama, and has given several notable performances, including venues such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Story Fest, and the Northlands Closing Concert. Since 2003, Katie has been using the arts to teach and engage students in learning and self-expression. Each class is custom designed to fit its needs.  Knutson writes an on-going column in Storytelling Magazine and has presented numerous storytelling workshops for teachers, students, and other storytellers. She spends her days in schools leading Arts Integration residencies that teach subjects ranging from Literacy to Science.